Good Evening Everyone,
I want you all to help me welcome author, Byron Suggs. He is the author of the latest book that I reviewed, Rockapocalypse. Rockapocalypse is an amazing book, that I recommend everyone read. Earlier this week, Byron Suggs was kind enough to conduct a small interview for us. He has also been kind enough to offer to answer two bonus questions. Leave a comment with what you feel is the answer to either bonus question. The people’s names that answer correctly will be placed in a hat and one name will be selected for each question. The two people selected will win a paperback version of Rocakapocalypse! Drawing will be held Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 7 pm EST.
1. Hi Byron. Can you tell the followers here a little bit about yourself and your book?
Hi, Nicole. First, thanks for having me. I’ll spare your readers the usual promo bio stuff and keep it spicy, okay? Let me start by saying I’m an old man who writes books. I’m eclectic in what I absorb, but my preferred literary realm arcs sharply between the fantastical and gravel-under-your-skin writing. There are three things I always try to infuse in my writing: a sense that Good will prevail over Evil, humor (of any flavor), and “soul exposure”. That last one is based on the fact that characters are developed from the inside out: soul-to-flesh. That’s the only way I believe you can draw your readers in and bond with their emotions. Beyond all of that, I’m pretty much like any writer. I’m vulnerable to the world outside of my imagination and share the common traits that all writers share.
Rockapocalypse was my first full foray into novel writing. When someone sees it on a shelf, receives it from a book retailer, or downloads it on a Nook or Kindle, they would never guess that 2 ½ years went into the final product. There were three re-writes in producing Rockapocalypse, the first version being cut and edited down to a mere toothpick of a
manuscript. There were times when I came dangerously close to filing it in the wastebasket and hopping on a different train altogether. The book you see today came from parts frustration and anger after two re-writes and endless rejection. But, I was determined to tell Pete’s story and nothing would stand in my way. So, angry and frustrated, I threw my conventional mindset out the window, opened the mental doors and stepped outside the box, so to speak. And it was a good thing I did, too. Rockapocalypse: Disharmony of Justice was “the” story all along. It just took awhile to cull it from the rest of the madness in my skull. I like to think that the central theme of this book actually embodies three parts: the possibilities of the impossible; the timeless power of music; and Faith, however you define it.
2. Rockapocalypse is a wonderful Southern Lit novel. Did you grow up in the south? If
not, what drew you to writing Southern Novels?
Oh, yes. I grew up in rural North Carolina in the 60’s and 70’s. I’m as southern as you get, although I’ve spent a great deal of my adult life exploring the world beyond southern borders. As for what I write, I think the advice that many seasoned writers extol holds true: write what you know. As for me, I write what comes from inside, and what comes from inside is as southern as mint juleps, hand fans and front porch rockers on a sultry Sunday afternoon.
3. Buddy Holly and a few other famous rockers play a huge part in your book. Music itself is vital to the plot. Did you ever dream of being a rock star? Besides rock ‘n’ roll, is there another genre of music that influences your writing?
Ha! What boy growing up in the 60’s didn’t want to grace the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in cool threads while holding an electric guitar? Let’s just say that I probably fancied a carefree rock and roll lifestyle when I was young and naïve. But I had more imagination than talent, which fits right in with “possibilities of the impossible”, right? While classic rock and roll will always be ingrained in me, my preference, with age, has tilted more towards country music over the last fifteen years or so. While that’s had no direct influence on my writing, maybe we could assume it reflects a need to slow down and put more meaning in the words and actions, and less in the “shock and awe”. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t throw a little “shock and awe” in there on occasion.
4. Your book has several life-altering battles such as love vs. hate and good vs. evil, but you also focus on the connections between life and death. (One of my favorite lines is at the beginning on page 23, “Never had a clue that all things in the universe are connected.”) If you could choose a soul connection with someone from the past, who would you want it to be? What would you hope to pass on to your soul’s future connection?
Tough question. Where do I begin? I would probably go to the edge of the abyss and say Edgar Allen Poe. The mystique is irresistible. Then again, H. P. Lovecraft would be a good choice, too. I mean the whole Cthulhu-Mythos-Gothic-Disney thing…really, could it get any better? As for what I could pass on, all I can say is— “me’. Whatever exist of the whole of “me” would be theirs for the taking. But they would have to take it all, God help them.
5. You mentioned to me the other day that you are working on your next novel. Will the next novel have a similar style as Rockapocalypse? Do you ever see yourself writing a follow-up on the characters from this book?
I’m afraid that the fans of Rockapocalypse will have to wait…at least for the time being. My current novel, Bone Whispers, is the second in a series of southern murder mysteries. I use “series” lightly at this stage. I’m not sure I want to go down that road, but at the conclusion of my second book, Cold Currents, I felt the protagonist, Bobby Taylor, had more to offer the readers. Cold Currents was the book that captured the attention of my agent, Joyce Holland from D4EO Literary. As for Rockapocalypse, a second book is certainly not out of the question, but it will have to go a step farther in concept. As of right now, the timing doesn’t feel right. I will write no book before its time!
1. What is your favorite Buddy Holly song?
a. Peggy Sue
b. Not Fade Away
c. That’ll Be the Day
d. Oh Boy!
2. Who is your favorite Southern Literature author?
a. John Hart
b. Joe Lansdale
c. Reynolds Price
d. James Lee Burke
Thanks for stopping by and good luck! In the meantime please visit the Byron Suggs website.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!